What ironically became the ‘Last Christmas’ for iconic British pop singer George Michael, his passing away on Christmas Eve comes as great agony to music lovers all over the world.
Starting his career with a band called Wham! in the early 80s, George Michael later turned into a solo performer who rocked the world over a period of four decades. He passed away at the age of 53. His publicist in London said in an official statement, “It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend, George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period.”
2016 hits musicians
While Bob Dylan was bestowed with the Nobel Prize, bringing much joy to the singer-songwriters of the world, the year 2016 seems to end on a killing spree as far as legendary singers are concerned. Starting the series with David Bowie (January 10, 2016), the Eagles man Glenn Frey (January 18, 2016) and the most recent demise of Leonard Cohen (November 7, 2016), the year seems to have conspired against music lovers of the world.
Social media was flooded with condolences and his friends and followers mourned Michael’s untimely demise. Legendary singer-songwriter Elton John shared his grief on Twitter, stating that he was the “kindest and the most generous soul”.
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) December 26, 2016
As one would say, fame and indiscipline probably got the better of him in the latter half of his career. His last music album, ‘Patience’ released twelve years back, and ever since George hogged headlines for his arrests for drug possession and driving offences. Quick fame or a depressed sexual orientation, experts and contemporaries would blame either of the two for his poor show in his later life. He himself admitted that he struggled with depression and the constant pressure of his sexuality in the face of screaming female adulation. He felt he rose to popularity as teen idol in ‘Wham!’ by sending an alter-ego to the stage.
Health and HIV
Presenting music aficionados some of the biggest hits such as ‘Careless Whisper’ and ‘Faith’ that sold over 100 million records over the span of his career, George Michael was often considered ahead of time. While doctors at his residence confirmed a heart malfunction as the cause of this death, there is an air of ambiguity regarding his death, although the primary police investigation has cleared the charges as unsuspicious.
The pop legend was suffering from chronic health issues over the last five years resulting in multiple hospitalisations and many show cancellations. Severe pneumonia during 2011 Symphonica European tour in Vienna was one of the most serious cases. Often suspected to be a carrier of HIV, however, his relationships and promiscuous nature have got many to speculate his immunity disorder as AIDS. In 2007, he was also featured in a BBC documentary called ‘HIV and me’ which was later doctored to remove his parts on his personal requests. A rather uncalled for debate broke in the aftermath of the documentary which allegedly features Michael stating that he was afraid of being diagnosed with HIV and thus, keeps himself away from medical tests. Even his relationship with Brazilian fashion designer, Anselmo Feleppa, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1993, also adds to the theory. Michael reportedly dedicated his song ‘Jesus to a Child’ to Feleppa.
How musical maestros reacted on George Michael’s untimely death:
RIP George Michael. I can’t believe it. Such an incredible singer and a lovely human being, far too young to leave us #georgemichael
— Bryan Adams (@bryanadams) December 25, 2016
RIP George Michael… Your music will stay with us forever…
— A.R.Rahman (@arrahman) December 26, 2016
Farewell My Friend! 🙏🏻 Another Great Artist leaves us. 💔Can 2016 Fuck Off NOW? pic.twitter.com/aEGIUNSJbt
— Madonna (@Madonna) December 26, 2016
Moreover, it was early November when George on his Facebook page shared a post stating that he is working on a documentary film called ‘Freedom’ which would be a great gift to his fans. He also planned the release in March 2017. However, the future of the film after his death seems to be uncertain…